Bands like Norma remind me why I still like to write about music. I admit to having a little trouble fully appreciating what the band was doing on their 2007 debut EP, 1, at first, but it grew on me and I gave the record a solid 8 out of 10, thanks in no small part to the brilliant opening track "Love No Other." The next year saw the release of Norma's phenomenal debut full-length, Book of Norma, for which I wrote my first ever 10 out of 10 review for the Scandinavian music journal It's a Trap!
Other than the release of the 19+ minute epic "Children of the Sun" in 2009, Norma had been rather quiet until recently. I worried the band, like so many obviously talented and criminally under-appreciated groups often do, had gone on hiatus, perhaps never to reform. The news that not only was Norma very much alive, but still producing some of the most intriguing and original music coming out of Sweden came as a wonderful relief.
"Joan," the first single off the upcoming The Invisible Mother (music video can be found here), is proof not only of the band's evolution, but of their ability to remain defiantly undefined—a fantastic and wonderfully engaging hybrid of German kraut, British post-punk, '60s psychedelia, and post-rock, to name a few, with these influences only somewhat capturing Norma's sound and approach. There truly isn't another band quite like Norma.
Norma's second full-length The Invisible Mother is set to be released through Sweden's wonderful Novoton Records towards the end of this upcoming January.
UPDATE: "Joan" is now available on iTunes.